Death is Inevitable

“Recognizing the impermanence of everything and everyone is one way to wake ourselves out of habit and really focus on the beauty in our life.” – Attitudes of Gratitude in Love

I’ve noticed something about the topic of death – most people don’t want to talk about it. Although it’s one of the few definitive facts of life that can be counted upon with 100% certainty, it seems to be a fairly taboo subject for most. I suspect that’s because people are generally fearful about death – it spells the end of something most of us treasure, life. I’ve always had a slightly difference perception of death. My ability to freely talk about it comes from the idea that when I recognize that my life, and the lives of those I love, will end, life itself becomes more precious. The thought that death is inevitable makes me immensely grateful for life. This awareness is another reason why ILML! 

– JamieQ

Today’s Gratitude 

I’m grateful I read out of recovery books almost every day of my life. I’m educating myself daily in the art of living peacefully with people, places and things over which I have very little control. By taking the time each day to discover more tools, tricks, hints and suggestions about how to better practice acceptance, patience, understanding, compassion, tolerance, empathy, and love in situations that are uncomfortable to me, I more fully love my life regardless of what may happen in the course of each day. I’m grateful that, more often than not, my words are measured and thoughtful, rather than reactive and defensive. I can’t underestimate the benefit I experience by checking in with myself, taking a temperature and inventory of myself, each day, in my journal. It’s a process of self-discovery far more beneficial than just ruminating in my mind about things – over and over again. I’m grateful for the fellowship, for I’m surrounded by the most incredibly wonderful group of people I could ever know – all of whom are striving to love their lives and improve themselves. I love my job, my family, Maui, Santa Monica, nature, my 5 amazing senses, and this spiritual journey in the human body suit. It’s epic and ILML! 
– JamieQ

Strong, Independent & Healthy

“Anger, resentment and guilt is often the result of saying ‘Yes,” when we meant to say ‘No.’ Do I want to continue denying my own feelings just to gain the approval of others? Or am I fed up with volunteering to be a doormat?” – Adapted from Courage to Change 
Sometimes I do things I don’t feel like doing because it’s my responsibility or I’m willing to help others who have helped me. That’s ok. But sometimes I do things I don’t want to do, which I shouldn’t be doing. By doing so, I am volunteering to be their doormat. In these situations, the only way to develop self-respect, and the respect of others, is to ‘Just Say No.’ They will be unhappy. But they’ll also learn that I am strong, independent and healthy. AlAnon has helped me discovery my own boundaries and let others know how I will handle myself I they choose not to honor them. Being true to myself is one more way that ILML! 

– JamieQ

My rituals

“If we listen to those moments when we hear a message from ourselves, we become true men – real human beings. The message comes in our solitude, when our defenses against truth are set aside.”– Touchstones 7/20

This talks about how important it is to hear that inner voice, which I believe is our higher power. And that we hear it in times of solitude. I know I have a very busy brain and have a hard time focusing and relaxing, probably a lot to do with being an alcoholic/addict. My program gives me solitude, my daily rituals, meetings, helping other people. This program gives me those times to hear my voice. The tools allow me to relax and get connected to that higher power that guide me on a daily basis. This reminds me to do my rituals today. So grateful to have a solution. ILML!

– JasonW

Simple. Easy. Effective.

“As I surrendered my imaginary power over others, I gained a more realistic view of my own life.” – Courage to Change p.334

Our incredible intellect & superior logic would challenge the idea of control by saying: “I can control people in my family, at work and even others, so, ha!” But who is really controlling whom? I can try to get others to act the way I want them to, but how does it feel when they don’t do as I ask? And isn’t my attention then consumed with them and their actions? I’m apt to be much happier when I identify what’s uncomfortable, express my concerns, have zero expectation that they will change, detach from the results, and then detach from them if their behavior continues bothering me. Simple. Easy. Effective. This allows me to live and let live, get back to focusing on things I’m grateful for, and recognize, once again, that ILML!.” 

– JamieQ

Cracking the Door Open

“… I gave up trying to control… I sought a relationship with the God of my not understanding.” – Reaching for Personal Freedom 

It took me 10 years in program to finally get desperate enough to really want some kind of higher power. Until that point I knew that I knew: namely that God was not real. One day I heard someone say something to the effect of “So what. Maybe God’s not real. Maybe God is just a make-believe friend for grown ups. What’s wrong with that if it makes your life better?” It was just enough to crack the door open for me. How could I understand God when the full concept is really beyond anyone’s comprehension? These days I just know that when I’m thinking kind, loving thoughts and filled with a sense of gratitude, I’m plugged into a higher vibration, it feels good, and ILML!  

The Paradox of Recovery 

“Your opponents would love you to believe that it’s hopeless, that you have no power, that there’s no reason to act, that you can’t win. Hope is a gift you don’t have to surrender, a power you don’t have to throw away.” – The Guardian, July 15, 2016

My disease (my brain) would love me to believe that it is hopeless. Recovery is the power of hope manifest. The beginning of recovery is the reclaiming of hope, the reclaiming of the power of the spirit. 

I act my way into recovery. It’s simple: meetings, step work, service, sponsorship. Recovery takes the garbage of my darkest day and turns it into gold. AA 124. The paradox of recovery is that that harder I work, the more fun I have. “God wants us to be happy, joyous and free.” AA 133. If I work and have fun, I have a life that I love!

-Tom K.